How to Prepare Form 8288-B, Application for Withholding Certificate for Dispositions by Foreign Persons of U.S. Real Property Interests

Form 8288, form 8288-b

Preparing Form 8288-B, Application for Withholding Certificate for Dispositions by Foreign Persons of U.S. Real Property Interests

The non-resident alien, foreign LLC and foreign corporations all have one common international tax problem- the U.S. 15% real estate sale price withholding tax.  But there is often another tax which is the state withholding tax.

For example, Hawaii is a five percent withholding tax of the sales price.  As a result, a whooping 20% of the sales price is withheld.

The seller is personally responsible for this tax and so is the escrow company or law firm handling the sale.   It is what we call, in America, as a “hot potato”.   Every person connected with the sale proceeds is personally responsible.

I am sorry.  I have more bad news about Form 8288-B FIRPTA Certificate.  Congress slashed funding for the IRS.  The other day, an IRS International Tax Attorney told me that the IRS has “limited resources”.   This means a longer, much longer, wait for your FIRPTA Certificate.

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Treasury Department Leads the Way in Saving Taxes and Protecting Assets with a Foreign Trust

saving taxes, how to save taxes, tax planning,

Saving taxes by requesting a private letter ruling from the IRS National Office.

At the end of last century, the Department of the Treasury led the way in making foreign trust attractive.  The IRS issued a legal memorandum providing the blueprint for protecting assets and saving taxes. 

Nevada  provides unique asset protection for these trusts.  A new IRS regulation allows the Nevada trust to be classified as a foreign trust. 

The tax advantage of a foreign trust is its classification as a “grantor trust.”  This tax plan uses a special asset protection section of the tax code, section 679.

Unlike a domestic trust, all assets transferred to a foreign trust are allowed “grantor trust” status (with one tax planning exception explained below).  They are also excluded from the taxable estate of the settlor.

As a “grantor trust,” the tax law allows the transfers of assets to the trust to be income tax-free.  Thus, you can do what you want to protect your assets and reduce estate taxes without worrying about income taxation.  

This IRS blueprint on foreign trust tax planning is the explained in this episode of my radio show, Tax Talk below.

The play time is about 22 minutes.  Or, If you would like to brainstorm your tax planning, then please call me, Brian Dooley CPA, at 949-939-3414 for a consultation.

If you want to defer income taxes, then fund the foreign trust with a loan due within five years.  Such a loan is called a “qualified obligation.”  This makes the trust a tax deferral vehicle.  The tax deferral can last for more than a century.  This type of a trust is named “non-grantor foreign trust.” 

The IRS Form 3520-A (filed by the trustee) details the tax planning structure for a tax-deferred foreign trust.  You will want to use the “qualified obligation” found on page 3 of the Form 3520 (filed by the settlor).   

Learn the basics on offshore trust on this short video.  Be an expert with my easy to read book, International Taxation in America, available at Amazon.

Tax Planning Tricks of Cross-Border Tax Accountants (CPAs)

Just how do cross-border tax accountants (usually a CPA or Chartered Accountant) use different nations tax laws to legally avoid taxes?

One term you will see on the internet is “hybrid” such as a hybrid company or a hybrid trust.

The USA is the biggest source of hybrid companies.   I am sure you have heard of them; they are known as limited liability company (LLC).    Only in America, the tax authorities (the IRS) treats the LLC as non-existing.  Yep, the single member LLC does not file a tax return.  It is completely invisible.

Meanwhile, Europe and even Mexico has complained to the U.S.  The Panama Papers disclosed that the Wymoing LLC is the most invisible tax haven company on the planet.   For example, if a French person owns a Wyoming LLC his government will never know.  Yet, this company can do worldwide cross-border business.  It can open U.S. and foreign bank accounts.

Hybrid Trusts are usually created in Nevada.  Cross-border accountants know that trusts only exist in form British colonies.  Yep, that includes America.   For reasons the baffle many, the U.S Department of the Treasury issued regulations that allow a Nevada trust to be taxed (in the U.S. and only the U.S) as a foreign trust.  Yep, it is as if the Nevada trust is in a  foreign (non-existing) country.

This allows the cross-border family to avoid inheritance tax in their home country and estate and income tax in the U.S.  Below is a fifteen minute audio of my radio show  (BlogTalk Radio Show; see just below my picture, above) on the Nevada Tax Haven Trust.

By the way, the corporate trustee fee is usually $2,500 per year.

Will Robots Save You Taxes and Your Business?

international tax planning, ecommerce tax planning, cloud computer tax planning, offshore tax planning,

international tax planning for eCommerce.

The U.K. Financial Times reports that in the UK, alone, robots will be replacing 15 million British workers.  In the U.S., we estimate 100 million workers.

The Newspaper’s article points out that lower paid workers are most at risks.  Well, we have seen this a the supermarket where the computer checkout is more attractive than the human ones.  

Exploiting the tax savings require you to think outside of the brick and mortar world.

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Cloud Continues to Disrupt Business – 1,000s of Robots Laid Off

International tax planning compares last century's tax laws to this century's business. Then , it exploits the differences.

International tax planning compares last Century’s tax laws to this Century’s business. Then, it exploits the differences.

This innovative tax planning blogger wants your business to survive.  Using your knowledge of the past to help you in the 21st Century not only causes you to pay more in taxes, it can put you out of business.

You have to compete with the future. Blockbuster’s demise is old news from the beginning of this century.   Just ten years later, the killer of Blockbuster is dying.  In 2014, Redbox closed (laid off) 1,000 of it robotic DVD rental kiosks.

 In 2015, it closed all of its DVD rental kiosks in Canada.   Netflix and other video streamers are slaying the king of the DVD rental kiosks. Redbox’s $1 a night became too expensive. Netflix is $10 a month, and you can watch as many hours as you want with 50,000 choices.

American international tax laws were written and were designed for a 1930 economy.

Offshore tax planning compares the out of date concepts in our tax laws to 21st Century business. Then, it exploits the differences.  Your tax planner must forget last century’s tax planning and learn this century’s.

Great tax planning sees the trends and changes.

For example, if the computer streaming of music was located in the Cayman Islands, the income is foreign source income and not U.S. source regardless of the location of the customer.  On the other hand, if you sell the mp3 file or ship the DVD, the income is U.S. source.

Look at banking.  Do you need an office in California to have California customers?      Are ATM’s the next to be laid off?  Do you want to deposit your checks like this,  in the dark watching over your shoulder?

Internet businesses can decide who is going to tax them just by using the cloud.

Internet businesses can decide who is going to tax them just by using the cloud.

Or like this- At home with a smartphone app where it is safe. By changing your business, you not only survive, but you can also completely shift your tax profile.

For example, if you distribute a product, spend some time learning about 3D printing or using a fulfillment center.   If you have an e-commerce business,  consider streaming your product versus providing a mp3 file or a pdf file.  Internet tax planning starts with shifting the source of the income.

For some, it is merely a move to Nevada or Texas to escape California or New York taxation.  For others, it is outside of the U.S., such as Canada (yes, it is an internet tax haven) or Ireland.  By the way, California tax planning and New York tax planning just became more important.  State income taxes are no longer deductible. 

If you want to brainstorm your idea and dream about your future, then call me, Brian Dooley, CPA, MBT, at 949-939-3414 for a free one-hour consultation.